SOAP Devotional 2014-06-16
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. (1 John 4:1-3 NLT)
We are not to just automatically believe what a preacher teaches just because he or she claims to be sent by God. They should be tested by their adherence in their teachings to what the Word of God really says. At the very core of their teaching must be a profession that Jesus who was God actually gave up his spiritual position to literally come in the flesh. Without that, He could not have died for our sins, or rise from the dead. This is an essential teaching and without it, that teacher would be a false prophet and following the spirit of anti-christ.
Some like to say that doctrine is not important, but actually doctrine is of extreme importance. Their are so many preachers and teachers today, who say the right things about Jesus, but their actual push doctrinally focuses more on ourselves than recognizing Jesus for being the Messiah He came in the flesh to be. They twist scripture to be more about satisfying our own desires while fulfilling their own desires more than the teachings of the word of God. They conform and adapt scripture to satisfy the listeners rather than keeping with the context of scriptures. These teachers and preachers are deceiving themselves as much as the flock around them. Beware!
Father help me to stick with the context and the message of your Word. Never let me preach or teach in a way that just tickles the ears of those who come to hear what they want to hear. Let me focus on you and your work that you would have us do. Don’t ever let my messages be self-serving.